Netflix Just Made 10 Documentaries Free to Watch on YouTube

Netflix has made 10 of its documentary films and series free to view on YouTube. The service picked out the titles to help non-subscribers pass the time during the coronavirus pandemic self-isolation and quarantine. They were specifically chosen as educational tools that my help students and teachers, but they are free for anyone to view.

Netflix is doing its part to help schools adapt to learning from home amid the coronavirus pandemic. In a press release issued on Friday, it explained that this newly free access to some documentaries is a direct response to requests from teachers, who have been contacting the service to ask for help in screening educational programs for a physically disparate classroom. The company added: "we'll be doing Q&As with some of the creators behind these projects so that students can hear from them firsthand. We hope this will, in a small way, help teachers around the world."

The free documentary films include 13th, Chasing Coral, Knock Down the House, Period. End of Sentence., The White Helmet and Zion. The free docu-series include Abstract Season 1, select episodes of Babies, select episodes of Explained and the full series Our Planet.

Ava DuVernay's 13th is is about the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which outlawed slavery. It traces the adaptation of racism through the legal system from there all the way up to the present day. Along the same lines, Knock Down the House is a film about four women's historic runs for congress, including New York City's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It deals with racial injustice, the vast income gap and police violence against African-Americans.

On the lighter side, Our Planet is an eight-part nature documentary series narrated by Sir David Attenborough, from the creators of Planet Earth. It explores some of the most breathtaking natural wonders left in the world with the latest photographic technology, and promotes conservation efforts through the World Wildlife Fund. Meanwhile, Explained is a series that takes a compelling deep dive into a different topic each episode, ranging from the bizarre to the ubiquitous.


All of these free programs and their descriptions are available on the Netflix U.S. YouTube channel for non-Netflix subscribers. Right now, they are all available only in English, though Netflix promises that subtitles in over a dozen languages are coming by the end of the week.

Not all of the programs provided are suitable for all age groups, so Netflix is asking teachers to check the ratings and do some research before presenting them to students. Hopefully, this resource will go a long way in engaging students who are new to learning from home.